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Stamkos, Crosby (but no Subban) headline final 36 All-Star selections

The NHL has released the final 36 players for the 2015 All-Star Game, and there were a few omissions that are sure to draw the ire of fans around the league. See who made it and who didn’t as we break down the selections.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

All-Star fan voting concluded with five members of the Chicago Blackhawks and Latvian hero Zemgus Girgensons getting All-Star nods, but the NHL released the names of the 36 remaining All-Star Game participants on Saturday night.

The list is headlined by obvious selections like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Rick Nash, and Steven Stamkos, but there are some surprise players that will participate, and some names that you’ll be amazed won’t be heading to Columbus for the midseason outing.

One of the pleasant surprises is Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson, who may not have the star power of Stamkos, but joins his teammate as one of only four pairs of forwards selected by the league to represent their respective teams. The other pairs are Philadelphia Flyers duo Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek and Pittsburgh Penguins superstars Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Of course, the Blackhawks will also have Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews participating in the game.

The final twosome that will represent a single team up front are hometown heroes Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen, both of which are certain to get a rousing cheer from the Blue Jackets faithful in attendance. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, he of a shiny new contract, will also represent Columbus.

The game will also be the first All-Star outing for a pair of St. Louis Blues, as breakout star Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will play in their first All-Star contest. Joining them as first-timers are defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes), Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames), Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes), Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche).

For forwards, the first-time players will include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton Oilers), Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators), and Radim Vrbata (Vancouver Canucks). Maybe one of the surprising choices, Vrbata has had an outstanding year for the Canucks, but it’s odd to see an All-Star game that won’t feature the Sedin twins.

And, as hard to believe as it may be, Patrice Bergeron will be making his All-Star Game debut this season, getting the first nod of his 11-year career.

When it comes to shocking omissions, it seems bizarre to see an All-Star Game roster that doesn’t feature Montreal Canadiens blueliner P.K. Subban. It’s doubly as shocking considering Subban is on pace for the best season of his career, and he would certainly bring fun to the game, which should be the most important quality a player can have for the half-speed game.

It’s also strange not to see San Jose’s Joe Pavelski among the players selected as he’s only five goals off the NHL lead and has been one of the Sharks best players this season.

While not entirely omitted, Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators will get to take part in the skills competition as a rookie. Though rookies usually don’t get the nod for the All-Star Game, you could argue no Predator is more deserving. Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames), Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa Senators), Tanner Pearson (Los Angeles Kings), and Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning) will join Forsberg as rookies.

However, with fan voting putting five Blackhawks in the lineup – Toews and Kane will be joined by Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and goaltender Corey Crawford – it greatly increased the difficulty of the NHL putting together a lineup of players that best illustrated those that deserve the All-Star recognition while still managing to represent all 30 teams.

The All-Star weekend will begin on Jan. 23, when the teams are selected in fantasy draft fashion by two yet-to-be-named team captains. One would likely assume that a member of the Blue Jackets will be given the keys to one of the teams. The festivities will continue with the skills competition on Jan. 24 and followed by the game on Jan. 25.

You can view the complete roster below.

Forwards:

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Rick Nash, New York Rangers

Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Defense:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes

Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames

Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks

Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings

Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

Goaltenders:

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

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